Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Not Your Ordinary Jalapeño Popper and an Unlikely Pie

You may recall a friend had given me some sweet potatoes. One of them was absolutely gargantuan and I still had half of it left.  I also had about twelve jalapeño peppers that I am sure I had some sort of plan for. Unfortunately, for the life of me I could not remember what it was.

They both needed to be used so after some thought I decided to try a popper using a sweet potato filling. Sometimes I am brilliant! They were really good (and really spicy).

If you do not want them too spicy make sure you do a good job at cleaning out the seeds and veins before stuffing them as that is where most of the heat resides. I like some kick so I was not particularly diligent about removing all of the seeds and veins.

I debated weather or not to bread them . My son declared poppers require breading so bread them we did. Normally I would fry them but in the sprit of a healthy new year decided to go healthier and used a variation of a breading recipe my friend Meg of The Snarky Chick Pea created.  Almost the same recipe I used for these baked onion rings.

I ended up stuffing all of the peppers and still had a good amount of the filling left over so I took what was left and put it into two mini pie shells and baked it.  Dinner! Delicious! I mentined that this sweet potato was gargantuan, didn't I ?!?

Sweet Potato Poppers

For the peppers and filling:
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup non dairy cheese (I used Daiya Mozzarella Shreds)
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste
12 large jalapeño peppers

For the batter:*
3/4- 1 cup all purpose flour**
1 cup non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup bread crumb
1 tsp smoked chipotle powder (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large pot boil the sweet potatoes until fork tender.  Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the non dairy cheese, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mash well and set aside.

Prepare the jalapeño peppers by slicing them down the middle taking care not to slice them in half.  Remove the seeds and veins.  Stuff each pepper with some of the filling.

Prepare the batter by mixing the non dairy milk, apple cider vinegar and flour in a bowl. In a second bowl add the bread crumb, olive oil, onion salt, garlic powder and chipotle powder (if using) and mix well until the oil is well incorporated. Dip each jalapeño into the batter and then dredge in the bread crumb. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until nicely browned.***  If not browned to your liking you may want to put the peppers under a broiler for about two minutes before taking them out.

And, if like me you have a lot of filling left over you may want to put it into a mini pie shell and bake for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

*Note: you may roast the peppers without breading them at all and they will be delicious. 
**Note: start with 3/4 cup flour.  if you find the batter slightly runny you can always add an  additional 1/4 cup of flour.
***Note: you could also deep fry these in vegetable oil until golden brown instead of baking.


  1. I am also gluten-free - will the batter still be all right if I use a G-F flour blend? I've not had success before substituting G-F for regular ones. Thanks - I hope I can try this--sounds delicious!!


  2. Hi Barbara

    I have no experience with GF but I have read that a mix of almond meal and coconut flour could be used in place of the flour. I have also asked this question of the Twitter community. If I get any responses I will pass them along to you!

  3. Hi Barbara,
    I haven't made this type of dish before, but I see no reason why the following gluten free flours wouldn't work:
    - tapioca
    - corn starch/flour
    - all purpose gluten free flour
    - arrowroot
    - potato
    - garbanzo
    *coconut/almond MIGHT be too sweet depends which brand you use.

    I am now interested and will most likely make this myself.

  4. these sound good!

    as for gluten free, I bet some type of cornmeal breading or corn tortilla chip coating would be delicious

  5. Thank you Adam and Lidia for the GF tips!